short story Archive

THE BLACKBIRD AND THE FOX NE day Madame Fox, who was strolling along under the hedge, heard a Blackbird trilling on a branch. Quick as thought she jumped and seized the little fellow, and was about to gobble him down then and there. But the Blackbird began to chirp piteously:— “Oh, oh, Madame Fox! What are you thinking of? Just see, I am such a tiny mouthful! And when I am gone—I am gone. Only let me free and I will tell you something. Look! Here come some peasant women with eggs and cheese which they are carrying to the market at Verrières. That would be a meal worth having! Only let me go, and I will help you, Master Fox.” The Fox saw that [&hellip

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HOW THE BLACKBIRD SPOILED HIS COAT NCE upon a time, our friend Blackbird, who comes first of the feathered brothers in the spring, was not black at all. No, indeed; he was white—white as feather-snow new fallen in the meadow. There are very few birds who have been thought worthy to dress all in beautiful white, for that is the greatest honor which a bird can have. So, like the Swan and the Dove, Master Whitebird—for that is what they called him then—was very proud of his spotless coat. He was very proud and happy, and he sang all day long, the jolliest songs. But you see he did not really deserve this honor, because he was at heart a greedy bird; and therefore a [&hellip

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THE EARLY GIRL HERE were once two girls who were very dear friends, Zaïca and Tourtourelle. One morning Zaïca woke up and said, “O Tourtourelle! Last night I had such a strange dream!” “And so did I!” cried Tourtourelle. “Let us tell each other the dreams. But you first, Zaïca.” Zaïca began to laugh. “I dreamed I was a pretty bird with a tuft of feathers on my head. I could fly, and, O Tourtourelle! it was great fun! But the most amusing thing of all was that I could sing so finely, and mock all the birds of the forest. Nay, I could even imitate the sounds of animals. I cannot help laughing when I think what a jolly time I had.” “Why, Zaïca!” [&hellip

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MRS. PARTRIDGE’S BABIES ONG, long ago, when the world was very young indeed, the Birds and Animals used to send their children to school, to Mother Magpie’s kindergarten. All the morning long the babies learned their lessons which it was needful for them to know. And when the noon hour came their various mammas came to the school bringing lunches for the children. You can imagine how gladly they were received by the hungry little scholars. One day Mrs. Partridge was very busy with her house-cleaning, and when the noontime came she could not leave her work to go to the school with her babies’ lunch. “Dear me,” she said, looking out of the nest, “here it is noon and the little Partridges will be [&hellip

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KING SOLOMON AND THE BIRDS ING SOLOMON was wiser than all men, and his fame was in all nations round about Jerusalem. He was so wise that he knew every spoken language; yes, but more than this, he could talk with everything that lived, trees and flowers, beasts and fowls, creeping things and fishes. What a very pleasant thing that was for Solomon, to be sure! And how glad one would be nowadays to have such knowledge! Solomon was especially fond of birds, and loved to talk with them because their voices were so sweet and they spoke such beautiful words. One day the wise King was chatting pleasantly with the birds who lived in his wonderful garden, and these are some of the things [&hellip

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THE MASQUERADING CROW HE Crow became very sour and disagreeable after his friend the Peacock’s cousin deserted him for more gorgeous company. Though he pretended not to care because the Pheasant was now a proud, beautifully-coated dandy, while he was the shabbiest of all the birds in his coat of rusty black, yet in truth he did care very much. He could not forget how the Peacock’s cousin had dyed him this sombre hue, after promising to paint him bright and wonderful, like himself. He could not help thinking how fine he would have looked in similar plumage of a rainbow tint, or how becoming a long swallow-tail would be to his style of beauty. He wished that there was a tailor in Birdland to [&hellip

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THE PEACOCK’S COUSIN ONG, long ago in the days of wise King Solomon, the Crow and the Pheasant were the best of friends, and were always seen going about together, wing in wing. Now the Pheasant was the Peacock’s own cousin,—a great honor, many thought, for the Peacock was the most gorgeous of all the birds. But it was not altogether pleasant for the Pheasant, because at that time he wore such plain and shabby old garments that his proud relative was ashamed of him, and did not like to be reminded that they were of the same family. When the Peacock went strutting about with his wonderful tail spread fan-wise, and with his vain little eyes peering to see who might be admiring his [&hellip

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KING OF THE BIRDS NCE upon a time, when the world was very new and when the birds had just learned from Mother Magpie how to build their nests, some one said, “We ought to have a king. Oh, we need a king of the birds very much!” For you see, already in the Garden of Birds trouble had begun. There were disputes every morning as to which was the earliest bird who was entitled to the worm. There were quarrels over the best places for nest-building and over the fattest bug or beetle; and there was no one to settle these difficulties. Moreover, the robber birds were growing too bold, and there was no one to rule and punish them. There was no doubt [&hellip

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  THE GORGEOUS GOLDFINCH HE Goldfinch who lives in Europe is one of the gaudiest of the little feathered brothers. He is a very Joseph of birds in his coat of many colors, and folk often wonder how he came to have feathers so much more gorgeous than his kindred. But after you have read this tale you will wonder no longer. You must know that when the Father first made all the birds they were dressed alike in plumage of sober gray. But this dull uniform pleased Him no more than it did the birds themselves, who begged that they might wear each the particular style which was most becoming, and by which they could be recognized afar. So the Father called the birds [&hellip

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